Borough seeks answers on YMCA structural problems

Tyrone Borough Code Enforcement Officer Tom Lang informed borough council members about recent problems at the YMCA building.
In his July report, Lang explained that a section of the decorative cornice at the top of the building fell to the ground. The incident happened on July 22 during or shortly after what Lang described as an extensive rainstorm.
Borough officials closed the sidewalk and the surrounding area in front of the building for safety reasons, according to Lang. The day after the incident Lang and YMCA board member Peter Dutrow were seen surveying the damage.
Lang said an inspection of the remaining cornice area turned up areas of concern. Tyrone Borough has informed the YMCA that a structural engineer will be required to inspect the entire facade of the building and supply the borough with a copy of a report and a schedule for repair of any items that need to be addressed.
Lang informed the YMCA’s president Linda Hershey that his inspection showed cracked cornices and brick missing mortar. He advised that the YMCA was responsible for the inspection and it should include the entire facade of the building.
He said the borough was concerned for residents who use the parking lots, street and sidewalk area surrounding the building. Lang said the sidewalk around the building would remain closed until it is deemed safe. A recent check showed that pieces of the broken cornice that landed on the sidewalk and the banister of the steps leading to the building have been cleaned up.
Lang advised the Y not to allow entrance through the front of the building except for inspection purposes. Lang asked the inspection by the structural engineer to be done by next Wednesday.
The Logan Avenue building has been closed for several months after suffering damage from last September’s flooding. The building had already faced a massive renovation project to bring the 92-year-old building up to code even before the flood forced Y officials to pull the plug entirely. Prior to the flood, the Y had decided to close the second and third floors. Funding to bring the building up to code was not in place when the flooding damaged the gym floor and other parts of the lower level.
The closure of the second and third floors had already forced The Tyrone Community Players to seek a new home when they had to move out of the theater on the second floor of the Y. Even before the flood, residents on the third floor had already been told to leave by the end of October.
The Emmanuel Baptist Church had offices and held services at the Y and has since relocated. Preschool and athletic programs were also affected. Through the efforts of the Hollidaysburg YMCA and the approval of the Tyrone Area School District, many of the programs were able to continue despite the building’s problems and eventual closure.